In my teens and twenties I played A LOT of basketball. Congressman John Lewis in his teens and twenties was one of the great heroic leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. He led sit-ins, went on freedom rides, marched and was a key strategist in the larger fight for equal rights in America. He was jailed and beaten multiple times always answering violence with nonviolence, hate with love, and stubborn armed resistance with unyielding, unarmed activism. What you might not know is that in 1969, it took the Fair Housing Council’s intervention to enable my family to buy a house in Harrington Park, NJ as the first black family to move into what my hometown where I grew up from a few months old into my 20s. When I asked one of the principal lawyers who helped us move into town, he pointed to the civil rights activists, led by John Lewis, who tried to march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge only to be savagely beaten and turned around by Alabama State Troopers, as the day he decided to help black families in NJ facing discrimination. I owe so much to John Lewis and the civil rights foot soldiers who faced such violent resistance with courage and determination. I am a US Senator today (the 4th black American popularly elected to the Senate) because of their patriotic sacrifices. So John Lewis may have never mastered a free throw but he did usher in greater freedom. And thus, yes, as I faced one of my greatest life heroes in this basketball shoot out while we were campaigning together in Nevada, I smoked him. I love you John Lewis #gratitude – Bring on President Obama, time for him to finally face the Old Tappan High School basketball stand-out who led his league (in fouls).
Shared by corybooker (Cory Booker) and selected for Featured.